Modern CMake for C++

Modern CMake for C++

Creating top-notch software isn’t an easy task. Developers researching this subject online frequently have problems determining which advice is up to date and which approaches have already been superseded by fresher, better practices. At the same time, most resources explain this process chaotically, without the proper background, context, and structure.

Modern CMake for C++ is an end-to-end guide offering a simpler experience, as it treats building C++ solutions in a comprehensive manner. It teaches you how to use CMake in your CMake projects, and also shows you what makes them maintainable, elegant, and clean. It guides you through the automation of complex tasks appearing in many projects, including building, testing, and packaging.

The book instructs you on how to form the source directories, as well as build targets and packages. As you progress, you will learn how to compile and link executables and libraries, how these processes work in detail, and how to optimize all steps to achieve the best results. You’ll also understand how to add external dependencies to the project: third-party libraries, testing frameworks, program analysis tools, and documentation generators. Finally, you’ll explore how to export, install, and package your solution for internal and external purposes.

After completing this book, you’ll be able to use CMake confidently on a professional level.

Who this book is for

Learning the C++ language often isn’t enough to prepare you for delivering projects to the highest standards. If you’re interested in becoming a professional build engineer, a better software developer, or simply want to become proficient with CMake, if you’d like to understand how projects come together and why, if you’re transitioning from a different build environment, or if you’re interested in learning modern CMake from the ground up, then this book is for you.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, First Steps with CMake, covers how to install and use CMake’s command line, along with what files make up the project.

Chapter 2, The CMake Language, provides key code information: comments, command invocations and arguments, variables, lists, and control structures.

Chapter 3, Setting Up Your First CMake Project, introduces the basic configuration of a project, the required CMake version, project metadata, and file structure, as well as the toolchain setup.

Chapter 4, Working with Targets, introduces the logical build targets that produce artifacts for executables and libraries.

Chapter 5, Compiling C++ Sources with CMake, explains how the details of compilation process works and how it can be controlled in a CMake project.

Chapter 6, Linking with CMake, provides general information on linking, static, and shared libraries. This chapter also explains how to structure a project so that it can be tested.

Chapter 7, Managing Dependencies with CMake, explains the dependency management methods available in modern CMake.

Chapter 8, Testing Frameworks, describes how to add the most popular testing frameworks to your project, as well as how to use the CTest utility available in the CMake toolset.

Chapter 9, Program Analysis Tools, covers how to perform automatic formatting, as well as static and dynamic analyses, in your project.

Chapter 10, Generating Documentation, explains how to use Doxygen to generate manuals for users straight from the C++ source code.

Chapter 11, Installing and Packaging, shows how to prepare your project to be used in other projects or installed on the system. We’ll also see an explanation of the CPack utility.

Chapter 12, Creating Your Professional Project, sets out how to put together all the knowledge you have acquired hitherto in to a fully formed project.

Appendix: Miscellaneous Commands, provides a quick reference of the most popular commands: string(), list(), file(), and math().

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